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UK / Is the graduate job market as bad as it seems?

For current undergraduates, prospects after university might seem dire. Certainly the statistics suggest uncomfortable truths: 24.8% of 21-year-old graduates are unemployed, approximately 83 graduates apply for every job, and nearly a million young people are out of work.

Meanwhile, a recent report by the Prince’s Trust has warned that youth unemployment will lead a generation to be trapped within a “miserable spiral,” and Nick Clegg has lamented the “long-term scarring effects” of unemployment. This constant pessimism can damage the approach of graduates to their career and the ambitions for their working life.

But peel back the statistics and a more nuanced picture emerges. Let’s take the big figure: 24.8% of 21-year-old graduates are unemployed. Of course, this is a disheartening figure, but one that misses several points as Charlie Ball notes: “In the case of graduates, this means that if you have a job or are starting a course in, say, September, but looking for a few weeks work in the summer, you’re unemployed. If you waited until your finals were done, looked for a job, and have one to start next week – you are unemployed”.

And the statistic only applies to 21-year-old graduates. But not everyone graduates at 21: people take gap years, foreign-language degrees require a year abroad, while some science courses such as chemistry last four years. For 22-year-olds, the rate drops to 16%, while falling even further to 8.6% for 23-year-olds.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor 


via Life in the graduate job market isn’t as bad as you think | Guardian Careers |


2 thoughts on “UK / Is the graduate job market as bad as it seems?

  1. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Does anybody want to employ people with graduate degrees? A few. Not enough, it seems.

    Posted by Mike | March 1, 2013, 8:45 am
  2. It would be interesting to know what the proportion of graduates in graduate jobs was. Competition is so fierce that I suspect many go for non-graduate jobs.

    Posted by literarylydi | March 3, 2013, 9:39 am

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